Anambra Govt. to utilise telemedicine to improve healthcare delivery — Commissioner

The Anambra Government says plans are underway to commence the utilisation of
telemedicine to make up for the deficit in healthcare professionals in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Tuesday.

According to him, the initiative will increase access and improve healthcare delivery in the state.

He said telemedicine is the use of telecommunication technology to remotely diagnosis and treat
patients from any location, adding that it could be through telephone conversation, e-mail or instant messaging conversation.

He added that “it is an innovative way of getting access and delivering healthcare through digital devices such as the mobile device
and computers.

“We are aware that we have shortage of health personnel in some hospitals when we took over office. We cannot prevent the issue
of brain drain, but we are not perturbed.

“This is why Gov. Charles Soludo is working to ensure that Anambra becomes one of the first states to implement what we call ‘Telemedicine.

“Telemedicine means that you can be in the comfort of your home and book appointment to see a doctor that is working anywhere in the world.

“Telemedicine can prospectively improve the health and well-being of people by making up for the shortage in healthcare personnel, reduce
delays in accessing healthcare due to distance and increase access to quality health.

“We have reached advanced stage of the agreement with some partners that came in from U.S. and UK recently and we are having
positive discussions. By God’s grace, it will commence by August.”

The commissioner also said that the Ministry of Health was waiting for the governor’s approval to commence employment of health personnel.

“I have visited about six general hospitals unannounced since I resumed office and it is so sad to see that some hospitals do not have doctors,
while some workers do not report to work.

“So, in terms of monitoring of health personnel, we are planning to have a health management information system in hospitals whereby
workers will clock-in and it will reflect attendance to work.

“Our plan is to give residents of Anambra quality healthcare.” (NAN)